Proggresive muscle weakness/stiffness with swallowing problems

Patient

Q: Five years ago I started have swallowing problems. Tongue won't move drinks or some solids to back of throat. I end up spitting it out or coughing. I also have laryngospasm that happen once twice a month out of the blue. In the past two years I have balance issues and dizziness. If I walk too close to someone and bump into them I almost fall over and become very unsteady. Now for the past year an half the muscles in my body are usually tight. Even at night when just laying around watching tv, I have to remind myself to loosen up. But it's hopeless because as soon as I do try legs, trunk,neck,shoulder and jaw stiffen back up. I feel stiff all the time This causes sever fatigue to set in. I have a great deal of trouble standing or being on my feet for more then two hours. Last week my right thumb started rolling back and forth, it lasted for two weeks then subsided. I know this sounds like a lot but I'm only 52 female and my 84 mother gets around better then I do. This has cause depression to set in. One more thing please, when holding something with wieght for a time, my arms are so weak that I can not hold a Q-tip up to my face. Any advice would be great.

Doctor

A:    The progressive muscle weakness/stiffness that you described, starting with the difficulty with swallowing, then balance issues and fatigue of the rest of the muscles, for sure require a thoroughly neurologic evaluation, including physical exam, lab tests, electro physiologic studies and imaging tests to rule out some neuromuscular diseases or collagen disorders that might cause the symptoms that you have described above.

Related Q&A

Q: My lymphocytes ratio is 50% and count per cmm is 3400. Also the while blood cells count is 6.80 "normal". T...

Q: I was prescribed .5 mg clonazepam for anxiety. I took it 27 hours ago. Am I okay to enjoy a few drinks?

Q: Hi - I'm on Alesse for birth control and since having our daughter 7 months ago, I'm quite religious with my pill but...

Q: Hello I feel I may have an iron deficiency. I have been lightheaded and dizzy upon standing. I have also been more fa...

Q: I have had numerous symptoms for a longtime including chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression, and digestive issues. My ...

 
DOCTOR ADVISORY BOARD
218

Dr. James Obaji M.D.

  • 247 Reviews
  • Family Physician
173

Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

  • 190 Reviews
  • Family Physician
138

Dr. Pat Golden M.D.

  • 169 Reviews
  • Cardiologist
98

Dr. Kunaal Jindal M.D.

  • 112 Reviews
  • Plastic Surgeon
CNN
BBC
MSNBC
CBS
abcNews
FoxNews